Micro-blogging for the inexperienced enterprise

Yesterday the winner of TechCrunch50 was announced. I had been a little curious because I thought there were some very interesting start-ups – but I must say I was a bit disappointed.

Perhaps it’s my own fault. Perhaps I’m one of those social media geeks, a first mover etc. who thinks everything needs to be very new and exciting before I like it. But still I think that the winning start-up was a little disappointing.

So let’s take a look at the winner – Yammer.

What is it? It’s a Twitter-like application for businesses.
The difference from Twitter is that this application is in a closed enviroment. Only people with a valid company email address can start a free Yammer network.
That way it’s only people from the same company who can access the same Yammer network.

And that’s basically a good thing – but what is the news? What is the “big thing”? Apparently the “big thing” is that there’s a paying service included. Which means that the start-up company in fact has a possible way of making an income from day one and therefore don’t need to introduce online advertising or other ways of make a buck later on. The service you have to pay for is the Admin privileges. If you want to manage the members of your company-Yammer you will have to pay $1 pr month pr. member.

And that’s it. Everything else you can have better on Twitter or Jaiku. Don’t get me wrong – it’s a good application – but not so good that it should be able to win as the best start-up.

But there are of course some possibilities. The best one is that Yammer would fit enterprises which are inexperienced with in the social media. It’s a way for them to get introduced to the “Twitter-way” and thereby perhaps get them to use social media within the company and perhaps even make a social media policy. But I think that Yammer will end up banging it’s head against the “corporate-security-wall”. Not many IT-departments will allow Yammer if they won’t allow applications like Twitter.

I hope it will catch on – because everything which can get companies to use social media is a good thing. But a winner application in a competition with the best start-ups? No way…

Cybersquatting at Twitter

Well – Cybersquatting is well known when we talk about traditional web pages. But now it’s also becoming a problem at Twitter.

I got a tip about this phenomenon from Lars K. Jensen (a Danish journalist from EkstraBladet). He wrote on Jaiku that he just had discovered that the name of the newspaper EkstraBladet already was taken at Twitter. He also tried some other Danish newspaper and the result was that almost all Twitter-names of the large papers had been taken.

Newspaper like Politiken, Berlingske Tidende, Nyhedsavisen, Børsen and 24 Timer have all had their names taken at Twitter.

Just look here


All names was taken on March 30, 2007. And all by the same person – even though there are using different names. All have the same contact email written in the first and only tweet.

The Danish newpapers are not the only one. Netflix is also suffering from cybersquatting. This is an even more obvious case. The one who set up the Twitter account – www.twitter.com/netflix – has put on a web address saying “for sale contact…”. I saw this at Simple Pixel.

Lars K. Jensen contacted the person behind who stole the Twitter-name of his newspaper – and got this reply

I would be happy to release the username over to you – However I believe that we should conduct a transaction – showing good faith on both parts.

A documentet donation to a charity organization – such as eg. Red Cross for no less than 50$ will be a prudent environment for us to make such a transaction.

I have a lot of respect for organizations like Red Cross – but why are they mixed into this?? Why not just give the Twitter-name back – it don’t belong to them. On top of this Cybersquatting is also against Twitter’s TOS (terms of service)

6. We reserve the right to reclaim usernames on behalf of businesses or individuals that hold legal claim or trademark on those usernames.

With this story in mind – I can only encourage companies and others to claim their own Twitter name ASAP (I have just done so this evening for my own company Rescu Kommunikation🙂 and my private Twitter account has been active for some time – so no problem there 🙂)